Break from Eve Online

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Break from Eve Online

Few weeks ago I decided to take a break from Eve Online. There are a few reasons why I made the decision, but its something that was best for me and I can now plan to focus on other games and projects that I did not have time to do before.

Basically I stepped down as CEO of Volition Cult and cancelled my Eve subscription for a bit. This is quite an essay, but its nice to type it all down. 

I decided to take a break quietly as its wise that focus be on the future opportunities rather than the past events. Normally when someone steps down, they post on the VOLT forums saying “Thanks” or “Goodbye” which is nice but  has an unwanted consequence of appearing negative.

I don’t want that. I don’t want to distract players who still enjoy VOLT and Eve Online to focus on me when instead they can focus on the more productive posts made by Luna or Core that will make them happy and hopeful about the future. So behind the scenes it was arranged and then I quietly stood down. Posting here where few will read works.

Game Mechanics

Part of the problem for me was that the game no longer offers anything enjoyable from a game mechanics perspective. After seven years I know most of the game mechanics well and there is not enough new content to actually keep me interested.

Lack of personnel goals was also a factor as I had achieved them. Having experienced most of what Eve has to offer, there is that odd feeling where there is no reason to undock and do anything any more. It’s still frustrating that CCP never released the Walking in Stations content they showed at 2008 Fanfest as I would have loved things like that where I could focus on social aspects from the comfort of some bar.

None of this is necessarily a problem as the VOLT community is always a good thing to be a part of and that provided more than enough content, but my work on that had burned me out.

Volition Cult

The alliance had become a victim of its own success. It was never intended to become a big player in Eve Online and it was never an intention to attract players looking for that kind of play style. For the first five years we were happy with just being an alliance of friends that just do our best and enjoy the game together.

We could never compete with large PvP successful alliances for what they offer in terms of PvP. We did compete with a solid community and that was our focus back in 2006. We attracted members because of that mind set and as we grew and shrank, succeeded and failed… members that joined for the community remained and we survived where almost all others failed.

This had coined the term “The Curse of VOLT” but it also proved that the community was generally more important than in game performance for the alliances long term survival. Although there are a few exceptions to that rule, the exceptions are few and far between and for VOLT it stood clear for years.

Somewhere along the lines, the alliance started doing well and started being able to compete with PvP successful alliances at a PvP level and we attracted players whos focus was on in game performance and killboards more than just the community. This causes a rift between the opinions of our player base and thus created drama.

No play style is right or wrong as both are valid, but having members from both sides in one alliance causes issues and the managing of these issues is what led to the burn out of PBA lunax earlier this year and later led to my burn out. There is only so much mediation you can do between players before it eventually gets to you making you more cynical about people which is unpleasant.

I feel I have seen similar before with the Imperial Republic of the North and Invictus merger, but I had never understood it properly at the time. In that case you had a rift between what players believed focus should be and that often caused drama. With my inexperience at the time I never properly appreciated the source of it then.

The lesson to learn from this is to be completely certain that when working with others closely that everyone’s focus is either really similar or accepted from the beginning so that there is no doubt or room for discussion that causes drama, stress and burn out of leadership.

Future for VOLT

PBA lunax has stepped up again, now refreshed. From the data I am seeing, the core community is doing well and remains as you would expect. That’s what that side of the alliance that has always has stuck together during good times and bad times as there concern was less about in game performance.

The other group of players that have a different view will move on eventually. Some already have with the 2353 drama earlier in the year and I suspect others with similar but more balanced views will also move on to alliances and corporations that better suit there play style. This should be and will be embraced I imagine. We should appreciate having the opportunity to fly with those players and the opportunity to move on to other things on good terms.

I want to reiterate that neither variations in play style or focus (NBSI vs NRDS or Community Performance vs Game Performance or Casual vs Non-Casual in varied degrees between) is better or more correct than the other. Its just personality differences. The right path for everyone would be to part ways to find play styles that match your focus.

Volition Cult have already made more moves to bring focus back towards the community focus and Luna, Krix, Core, Noeka, Jugg, Temp and Fredo all have the same views on how things should be done. From a corporation perspective, this solidarity will improve things and make the corporation more enjoyable.

You also have the young corporations such as FRIUD or even Blackstorm with its new leadership as two examples who had impressed me. That young fresh drive is very compelling and seeing new members step up with a willingness and drive to improve is really inspiring. So for the Alliance, things like that are great too.

The awkward thing people don’t like to admit, is that sometimes players have different views on how a game should be played and when you have flown with and become friends with others who have different views its very hard to admit that this difference is holding both back. The risk is if you don’t admit the problem, you can potentially end up ruining the friendship entirely.

Anyway, the future of Volition Cult corporation and The Volition Cult alliance is always bright. Even with in game events, numerous setbacks over the years and regular changes to leadership every now and again the core group of friends remain. It means I can take a break happy that when I return, there will always be a nice group of friends to play with.

Future for Stone

One of the things that was awkward with Eve was that you would regularly lose your evening chatting and typing and all of a sudden its past midnight and you have still not eaten and you have work in the morning. With evenings clear, its good to be able to have time to focus on selfish things again.

There are plenty of things that I should keep up to date on that I have let slip lately, but I also plan on having more time to do more reading, playing other games, updating this site more and work on some other projects I had in mind. Its nice to have a weight of my shoulders although I do feel guilt towards Luna a little as I did leave quite a bit of work for him. Should not dwell on that though.

There may also be the possibility of continuing my learning to play the piano or finishing off my sketches. I don’t know yet. I am happier though.

By |2017-01-06T16:01:06+00:00October 4th, 2012|Categories: Blog, Eve Online, Gaming|Tags: , , , |9 Comments

About the Author:

Ross Stone is an experienced and passionate IT Professional with exceptional knowledge of various technologies including Active Directory, Application Virtualization, System Centre Configuration Manager, Citrix XenApp and VMware vSphere.


  1. Schelik Hill 06/10/2012 at 12:10

    Nice read and very true =)
    It also brings some comfort to know that Luna, Noeka, jugger, Fredo, Core and Krix (nice to see Krix in this line) will be keeping the boat afloat. Because…who knows….maybe there is a place for EVE in yours and mine futures as well, and it would be nice to come home should that happen =D

    *used Schelik, as that seemed appropriate

  2. wardo 31/10/2012 at 18:53

    I got tipped off that VOLT had lost a CSAA, and went on a wander for information and stumbled across this.

    What you have said is true and for me what you are describing are different peoples perceptions of the same thing.

    People will always have conflicting opinions, history is resplendent with people who view and see the world in different ways. Some of these conflicts result in wars other in healthy discourse which leads to a better place for all. I feel the conflicts that where brought about this year largely by myself and not by 2353 blaming a corp on it as a little unfair. However, these conflicts in my opinion where brought about by people actively trying to avoid conflict and to comprise at every stage.

    As I said to Luna on many occasions conflict is a healthy thing, if we all went around agreeing with each other all the time nothing would get done, no-one would invent the electricity, computers or even battery operated sex aids. Without conflict we would all sit in our caves in the dark waiting for the next ice age.

    In VOLT however, we always had to achieve a balance and until now I, someone who was in the middle of it all, didn’t realise what truly drove it. Really the core community, “the core group of friends remain” is largely invisible to other corps in the alliance and its that baggage that drives VOLT. And that is something that VOLT in particular need to watch out for as it is this which really drives VOLT, but its hidden behind the scenes.

    Its ironic that 2353 in particular are vilified as creating drama, Jin and I where the ones that created the “drama” and following the timeline created most of the content for the last 2-3 years so its not as if we didn’t do anything whilst we where there. We should be praised for what we did in our time for we and especially me gave more than we got back. I myself h8d providence and was very dissapointed in how all the efforts I made to make content where always underminded by people who didn’t make any themselves. If myself Lude, Pokey, Jin and anyone else who I’ve missed are guilty of anything its actually having a goal and wanting to give people reasons to logon. Hence, why we could CTA miles more people than a bigger VOLT can now, thats not just because of PVP its because we created a community of people at the keyboard. To quote Jin “and we get cast off as the divisive ones for having concrete goals.”

    For VOLT to truly flourish it needs to decide is it a community which aims to provide a “home” for AFK leaders of past times or is it an alliance for the people in it playing it at the moment. This isn’t a mud sling its a cold hard fact which has resulted in lots of corps leaving VOLT (some good, some bad).

    On a personal note its good to see you are doing well m8. I quit EVE back in the summer. I was very disappointed with the plans for EVE and how all the major forces in EVE now seam to be blue. EVE needs a sequel its sort of hit its peak. Its a shame they didn’t say “sod it” and make a new EVE to integrate with DUST.

    The gaming community also looks good!


  3. Ross Stone 31/10/2012 at 19:37

    Thanks for the comment Wardo. Its interesting reading things from another angle. Your certainly right about VOLT (In Eve) needing to be lead by people who still enjoy playing though. This is why I stood down.

    Everyone did what they thought was best but opinions were different. That’s Eve for you really. Everything else after that is just spin and propaganda. Its harmless as long as you step back from it I guess. Its annoying how Eve is great for making friendships but also great at potentially ruining them.

    Good to hear from you though. I hope things are going well for you since Eve.

    I agree with you that Eve is a little stagnant at present, with both development and politics. Unfortunately I don’t believe CCP have the resources to resolve it and I don’t know of many alternative games either.

    We have a VOLT in Guild Wars 2 which is fun, but lacks the coordination requirement of Eve. There are 100 members there, but no in game requirement to do anything together. PlanetSide 2 shows promise, but we will have to see how willing people are too stepping up to Eve like coordination levels. Never played PlanetSide 1 so not sure if it got as extreme as Eve in that respect.

    Star Citizen looks amazing though, but not sure how multiplayer it will be. Bit early to know if that will be a good place to get a sci-fi fix. I saw news they were going to support the Oculus Rift which was cool, looking forward to that too. Space MMO + Oculus Rift would be epic.

  4. wardo 31/10/2012 at 19:45

    I read some reviews on a job site (can’t remember the link) of CCP. From what I understand their senior management are all lost in the dream of the sandbox and are a bit out of touch from what actually goes on. At the moment they want to cock the infrastructure up as little as possible so they can insert DUST. I’m not sure how DUST will do on one console vs easy to pick up and play FPS games on all platforms its a bit of balls out strategy.

  5. Schelik Hill 02/11/2012 at 16:09

    Hi wardo

    Great to see/hear/read from you again, I trust everything is well!
    Sad to see you don’t feel all your efforts in VOLT were appreciated, as I can tell you that they were great appreciated. I agree with your assessment of EVE and CCP, some of the same reasons for my departure from EVE.

    In terms of an EVE replacement I have my hopes set on Star Citizen (have already pledged myself), but have my concerns in terms of the MMO part. Particular as Roberts have stated that he is not doing an MMO, but a Space Sim (with MMO parts). So it will greatly depend on the level of MMO. But we’ll see.
    Planteside I don’t know. Will have to look that one up at some point.


  6. wardo 04/11/2012 at 16:27

    Hey Hill,

    Hope you are doing well. For me its the sandbox it seams like such a good idea at the time, but actually it detracts from the game itself. EVE is an excellent PVP game wrapped up in a terrible MMO. They should just pave the game make empire a massive theme park MMO and NPC the whole of null. Still never gonna happen.

    I’m not looking for an eve replacement in terms of MMO. League of Legends I’ve found is a good PVP game, and I’m going for variety now!


  7. Misteriouso/Sasa 21/12/2012 at 14:59

    Well if you like you can always join me in World of Tanks for some causal pew pew :)

    On a EVE note, i quit playing it year and a half ago now i believe, for same reason as Stone did, it didnt do for me any more. Too much frustration, too much time wasted. I started playing it mechanical, without much enjoyment, out of habit i guess. I was considering of return but gave up lol i might do it some day, will will have to give it some brainstorming first.

    On VOLT note, i am glad everything still works, more or less, with all casual drama (someone say hello to Luba btw) and thumbs up for stations and systems.

    Best regards

  8. TheRealLuna 21/12/2012 at 20:42

    You are dearly missed Rossy bear i think the point is that all MMO’s eventually go stale i know i played WoW as a hardcore raider untill it broke me my marriage and my life…its not so much about the game but the friends and people you meet along the way dont be a stranger Ross we go back a Looooong way fly safe bretheren and maybe soon youll come back *8)

  9. Confuzer 11/04/2013 at 00:11

    Funny to read. I rather miss the old small community we were. I am logged in right now and only see 2 people I know in corp. I never left, but I never played for over 3 years anymore. I have enough isk to keep these 5 accounts going for 10 years, but what is the point? I like the growth aspect and the fun little roams with the original people, but when people start leaving they just take part of your soul with them. Doc called it the best years for Volition when we had the large meetups and I think it is true. There are so many people now on from Guildwars which I also play, but got bored and stopped a few months ago and only play sometimes, but the userbase feels different and not that close as it felt in eve.

    I miss that sometimes and sure miss you guys. Maybe one day we will all jump in a new sf game and get that fire started again. But for now, I am doing projects like Stone does, mindstorms, creating an AI as I always wanted and my son. Piano and star gazing are the next things after that, so it was funny to see Ross doing those. I am rather loyal to groups I joined (I even still talk to the people from my first chatroom in 1997) so you will see me around :)

    Fuzz out

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